Let’s Break Down These 2018 Midsize Sedans
The midsize sedan is one of the most-popular vehicles on the roads today. And why not? There is a lot to like about these practical cars. The average midsize sedan provides a comfortable ride, has plenty of space for both passengers and cargo, and returns impressive fuel economy. If you are looking for a reliable, all-around performer to park in your garage, a midsize sedan is an easy choice.
In this article, we are going to highlight three specific midsize sedans from the 2018 model year — the 2018 Honda Accord, the 2018 Lincoln MKZ and the 2018 Toyota Camry. If you are in the market for a new midsize sedan, your search will not be complete until you have at least considered these three contenders. The information provided below will help you to make an informed buying decision.
Let’s get started!
Some Quick Introductions
Before getting into the task of comparing these three cars to one another, let’s take a moment to introduce each of them.
2018 Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is among the best-selling sedans of all time, and it is easy to understand why. The Accord has an excellent reputation for reliability, and it is offered at a reasonable price point, with the MSRP from $23,570. For many car buyers, the question isn’t really which car they are going to purchase, but rather what color Accord they are going to select.
For 2018, the Accord has a brand-new look. Its styling has gotten more aggressive, and it now stands out from the pack in a manner not traditionally associated with the Accord. While this car has long been popular, it hasn’t always been considered stylish. That’s changed for 2018, and this new look is likely to draw in buyers who wouldn’t have otherwise considered a Honda.
2018 Lincoln MKZ
In a popularity contest, the Lincoln MKZ would not be able to hang around with the other two contenders. Both the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry have sold huge numbers over the years, while the same cannot be said about the MKZ. However, there is much more to car shopping than just popularity, so you’ll still want to consider this attractive sedan.
Originally called the Lincoln Zephyr when it was introduced in 2006, this car has been for sale under the MKZ name since 2007. The current generation hit the market in 2012, and it was updated in 2017. As the Lincoln lineup is meant to be the upmarket version of Ford vehicles, it is possible to fit an MKZ with equipment and finishes that provide the driver and passengers with a true luxury experience. While the MKZ’s price tag is a bit higher, with the MSRP starting at $35,605, the luxury features included may be worth it to the right buyer.
2018 Toyota Camry
Like the Accord, the Toyota Camry has long been a top-seller in the American market, and for many of the same reasons. It is known as a reliable vehicle, it provides a comfortable ride and you don’t have to break the bank to drive one home, starting at $23,495. The Toyota brand has plenty of loyal followers, and those followers are likely to pick a Camry when they need to purchase a sedan.
Also, like the Accord, the Camry has a new design for the 2018 model year. The body is a new shape, and even car enthusiasts may not recognize it as a Camry — at least, not at first glance. Thanks to the new look and updated features, this car will surely continue the Camry’s reputation as one of the most popular vehicles on the road.
One of the first questions a prospective car buyer will ask when looking at a 2018 model is “what’s changed?” In other words, what is different about this vehicle as compared to the last time it hit the market? If you are going to pay the price that comes along with a new model, you’ll want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
With the Accord, you can start under the hood when looking for changes. There is a new standard engine powering this sedan, a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo. The car picks up seven horsepower as a result of the change from the previous base engine, which was a 2.4-liter without a turbo. It is also possible to purchase your 2018 Accord with a larger, 2.0-liter turbo four. In addition to the engine change, the 2018 Accord also has an all-new look, as mentioned above.
The Lincoln MKZ is largely unchanged from 2017. However, the vehicle was refreshed during that model year, so it does have a fresh look.
There’s no good reason to compare the 2018 Camry to the 2017 edition, because this is essentially a new car. The dimensions have changed, the shape of the body has changed, the look and feelf of the cabin have changed, and on and on. When trying to decide whether or not you’ll purchase the 2018 Camry, there isn’t much point in reviewing the specs from the 2017 model. The name is the same, but that’s about as far as it goes.
A Few Specs
When shopping for a midsize sedan, you don’t want to get too caught up in specs, as there is more to a car than what you can measure. With that said, you will want to know a few basic specs as you move forward. Knowing what each car can do will help you to make the right selection in the end.
For starters, let’s talk about fuel economy. This is an important one, of course, especially if you put a lot of miles on your vehicle and don’t want to spend half of each paycheck at the gas pump. The combined mpg ratings for the Camry and the Accord are quite close, coming in at 34 and 33, respectively. The MKZ lags behind here, recording a 24 mpg rating. Of course, the standard engine in the MKZ — a 2.0-liter four-cylinder — creates 245 horsepower, which is a far leap ahead of the other two. As is always the case, you’ll trade fuel economy for performance.
If you are concerned with cargo space, you won’t have to worry much about when picking between these three. The Accord leads the way with 16.7 cubic feet, but the others are not far behind. The MKZ offers 15.4 cubic feet, while the Camry has 14.1 cubic feet available. You’re never going to find the kind of cargo space offered by an SUV in a midsize sedan, but all three of these vehicles perform adequately in this area.
One other spec to check on before wrapping up this section is curb weight. Many buyers don’t think about the weight of a vehicle when shopping, but this statistic can affect everything from fuel economy to handling and performance. The Accord and Camry, as seems to be the case in every category, are quite close here. The Accord tips the scales at 3,131 pounds, and the Camry is just 110 pounds heavier, at 3,241. The MKZ, on the other hand, is significantly heavier, weighing 3,739 pounds. With that said, the MKZ does have easily the most powerful engine of the trio, allowing it to propel its heavier curb weight without much trouble.
Once you have identified a few vehicles that you might purchase, you’ll probably start looking at equipment lists to see what comes installed on various models. After all, when you are moving down the road, these features can make all the difference in terms of your driving experience. Each of these three vehicles comes nicely equipped, even in the lower trim levels, so none of them are going to leave you wanting for options.
Some basic features included on all three vehicles include cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering column, at least one 12-volt DC power outlet and a touch-screen up front. Bluetooth compatibility is also included on each vehicle. If you enjoy music while driving, the MKZ offers a luxurious audio experience, with 11 speakers installed in the cabin. There are six speakers in the Toyota and four in the Honda.
When shopping for features, you don’t want to think only about items meant for entertainment or convenience. You should also think about safety. Again here, we find plenty of features shared across the board. A full set of airbags comes installed on each of the cars. Traction control is standard, as are daytime running lights and LED brake lights. Parking assist comes standard on the Lincoln MKZ, which is not something that can be said of the Camry or Accord.
Another feature to consider is AWD, or all-wheel drive. The Camry and the Accord lack such an option, but you can add AWD on the Lincoln MKZ. For some buyers this will be a non-issue, but others will place a premium on the availability of all-wheel drive. If you want the ability to send power to all four tires, weigh that factor along with everything else in this equation.
Making a Case
Now we are going to quickly make a case for each of the three sedans highlighted in this article. At the same time, we’ll point out a couple of reasons why you might consider another option. In today’s automotive landscape, nearly every manufacturer is producing a quality product. There isn’t room in the market for companies to make money with bad cars, so it’s getting harder and harder to go wrong. While we present a case for each of these three, remember that any of them would make for a nice daily driver.
The Case for the 2018 Honda Accord
If you choose to buy a Honda Accord, you will have a lot of company. Millions of these cars have been sold over the years, and the 2018 model is particularly exciting due to its redesign. Despite its small engine, the Accord still offers nearly 200 horsepower, meaning it is more than capable of getting around town comfortably. And because of its small engine, fuel economy in the Accord is rather impressive. Since it carries the Honda badge, you will have a reputation for quality and reliability on your side, and most drivers will enjoy the ride quality offered by this model. There is plenty of tech on board as well, with even base models offering things like a rearview camera, a 7-inch screen and a USB port.
There’s not much to complain about with regard to the Accord. Some drivers may prefer to have a naturally aspirated engine as opposed to a turbo, but it is hard to argue with the performance and economy presented by the small turbo four-cylinder. There are some sedans on the market which come with a slightly lower price tag, but still, it’s hard to complain much here. With so much to like about the Accord, the price feels justified.
The Case for the 2018 Lincoln MKZ
The Lincoln MKZ occupies an interesting space in the midsize sedan market. It is more expensive than many of the popular sedans on the market – including both the Camry and the Accord – yet it is more affordable than most of those positioned in the luxury market. By landing in this middle ground, Lincoln may be able to capture a segment that is interested in luxury and performance, without having to pay the sticker price for something like a BMW or a Cadillac.
That description pretty much highlights the argument for purchasing a Lincoln MKZ. When fitted with one of the higher-end trim packages, this is certainly a luxurious vehicle. It offers the most powerful engine in our comparison at the base level, and it can even be had with a 3.0-liter V6 for those desiring more get up and go. If you are looking for a more powerful, more luxurious experience than can be found with an Accord or Camry, the Lincoln MKZ is certainly a contender for your business.
On the down side, this car can get expensive in a hurry. If you start checking all of the options boxes, the retail price for a new 2018 MKZ can race beyond $50,000, and it can keep climbing from there. That does not mean you should cross this car off your list, it simply means you should have a budget in mind and decide which vehicle is the best balance of performance, features and cost.
The Case for the 2018 Toyota Camry
To finish things up, we are going to discuss the Camry. It seems to have a lot in common with the Accord, so picking between these two can be tough. Toyota has an excellent reputation for reliability; but of course, so does Honda. Many drivers feel that the 2018 Camry offers a comfortable, enjoyable ride — and the same can be said of the Accord. The harder you look to find differences between these two, the more similarities come to the surface.
The biggest difference between the two is likely the fact that the Toyota does not feature a turbocharged engine. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter I-4, and there is an optional 3.5-liter V6. Those engines rely on natural aspiration, so the Camry may be the right pick if you would like to stay away from turbos. While many manufacturers have turned to turbocharged engines as a way to offer both performance and fuel economy, Toyota has stayed away from that trend here. And, impressively, this vehicle still offers excellent fuel economy.
In the end, we aren’t going to declare a winner, because each of these vehicles will serve nicely for the right owner. The Camry and the Accord are two of the most popular vehicles in the world, and each has been redesigned for the 2018 model year. The Lincoln MKZ, on the other hand, is a premium model that offers buyers the chance to own a luxury sedan for a relatively low cost.
It’s time for you to relax, weigh the facts and consider your preferences. Of course, you’ll also want to test drive any vehicle before you make it your own. No matter what you think about the specs of a certain car, nothing can replace actually sitting behind the wheel and putting your foot on the gas.